Coach stays away from Olympics hockey training camp

Lahore: Pakistan hockey appears to be caught in a web of problems as their foreign coach Michel Van Den Huevel has refused to attend a training camp for the London Olympic probables in protest over some issues.

This after some senior players, including Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Imran Warsi and Waseem Ahmed, decided to join the unsanctioned World Series Hockey in India.

Reliable sources said that the executive council of Pakistan Hockey Federation will meet shortly to discuss these issues, including announcement of a policy decision on the fate of players who have opted to play in the lucrative WSH which is not recognised by International Hockey Federation.

Apart from this issue, the PHF is facing an open revolt from their Dutch coach who has stayed away from the camp in Islamabad.

According to sources, he was upset that the PHF and its selectors announced the probables for the London Olympics without taking him into confidence.

"Huevel is unhappy because the PHF didn`t take his input while naming the probables. As a result some players he wanted are out while those he didn`t want in the team for different reasons have been recalled," one source said.

PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa has tried to play down the issue but it is now becoming apparent that unless the federation takes some drastic steps, Pakistan face an uncertain time in their preparations for the Olympic Games.

Interestingly, no one in the PHF is aware when Huevel will arrive for the camp with the official statement being that he is attending to a personal issue and has taken leave.

But, the team manager Khawaja Junaid gave a contradictory statement.

"Heuvel is undergoing tooth treatment," said Junaid. "He may miss the first phase but I`m sure he will supervise the second that starts after March 25. The camp is going smoothly and is not affected by his absence," he said.


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